Smoking cessation apps and services can become more more competitive

How can current smoking cessation apps and services use digital technology to become more competitive?

This article provides a deeper understanding of the UK’s smoking cessation industry. In 2020, with a 22% increase in quit attempts, and a 9% jump in quitting success rates [1], it is clear smoking cessation is a growing industry in the UK. This article will outline smoking cessation treatments, alongside the current treatments e-Pharmacy can offer to your service through partnership. Lastly, it will outline the benefits a partnership with e-Pharmacy should bring to your service. 

As smoking is one of the UK’s biggest causes of deaths and illness, with around 78,000 people dying a year, and many more developing smoking-related illnesses [2], it is important smokers and ex-smokers have access to essential and affordable treatments.

 

Why are smoking alternatives not the best option?

Although alternatives, such as vapes and e-cigarettes are safer options than smoking cigarettes, they are still harmful. The liquid and vapour within these alternatives still contain some potentially harmful chemicals, which is found in cigarette smoke, but at lower levels [3]. The harmful substances may include nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents [4]. Therefore, smokers must have access to alternative smoking cessation treatments, which are affordable and effective in helping smokers to quit smoking successfully.  

 

What are some current smoking cessation treatments?

Some smoking cessation medications are offered by GPs. However, due to funding cuts, it has left some GPs unable to prescribe smoking cessation products, where the number of GPs prescribing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) fell 70% between 2006 and 2017, and the dispensing of varenicline fell by more than 50% between 2010 and 2017 [5]. This is surprising as varenicline is the most common smoking cessation treatment.

 

 

Aside from Champix, what are some treatments e-Pharmacy can offer to smoking cessation services?

e-Pharmacy offer a range of medications, and prescriptions which are effective in smoking cessation: 

COPD Antibiotic Rescue Pack: Intended for people who suffer from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) when a reliever inhaler is no longer providing relief. COPD occurs when the lungs and airways become damaged and inflamed. Smoking appears to be the main cause of COPD, as it is thought to be responsible for 9 in 10 cases. 

Inhalers: Tobacco smoke is a common trigger for asthma. e-Pharmacy offer asthma treatments, such as inhalers, for smokers who have difficulty with their breathing.

 

How can e-Pharmacy help your current service use digital technology, to become more competitive?

With a 23% quitting success rate, more is needed to help smokers successfully quit. Through partnership with e-Pharmacy, our experts will help embed our API online prescribing and pharmacy services directly onto your app, allowing your smoking cessation app users to purchase relevant prescription treatments. This will increase the percentage of successful quitting attempts from your app, but also support ex-smokers on their journey, through easy access to affordable treatments. In turn, your current service will become more competitive. 

 

 

References

[1] UK Government | https://www.gov.uk/government/news/surge-in-smokers-trying-to-quit-see-increased-success-rates-in-2020

[2] NHS | https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-are-the-health-risks-of-smoking/

[3] NHS | https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/using-e-cigarettes-to-stop-smoking/

[4] HealthDirect | https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/cigarette-substitutes-how-safe-or-effective-are-the-alternatives-to-tobacco

[5] GP Online | https://www.gponline.com/funding-cuts-leave-gps-unable-prescribe-stop-smoking-products/health-promotion/health-promotion/article/1487797

[6] NHS | https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/champix-varenicline/

[7] NHS | https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/10-myths-about-stop-smoking-treatments/

[8] Patient.Info | https://patient.info/healthy-living/quit-smoking-cessation/varenicline-champix

[9] NHS | https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-england-april-to-september-2007-q2-quarterly-report

[10] QuitNow!| https://apps.apple.com/us/app/quitnow/id483994930

[11] Yorkshire Smokefree NHS Service | https://yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/articles/how-digital-technology-is-helping-smokers-to-quit

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